Sumerian Views Of Death Essay, Research Paper
Civilization is defined as? a province that binds people together to exceed tides of household, kin, folk, and village. ? ( Woolf, H.B. , 1974, p.141 ) By utilizing this definition, one can compare and contrast the many different traits that the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilisations had. Both The Epic of Gilgamesh and the three Egyptian funerary paperss are really good illustrations of written paperss that show these two differences in civilisation. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a long narrative verse form which shows the many tests set before a immature hero. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.8 ) This heroic poem was discovered on 12 clay tablets in the remains of a library dated back to the 17th century before Christ. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.8 ) Within this heroic poem, the reader will acquire an thought of how the Sumerians lived and communicated within their community. Similarly, the Egyptian traits of civilisation can be explained when the Coffin Texts are analyzed. The three funerary paperss, which will be discussed subsequently, were found written inside wooden caskets of people could who afford expensive funerals. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.18 ) Many of these composing concentrated on decease and catastrophe, and the wretchednesss and frights that are associated with it. These three Hagiographas are besides really helpful by giving the reader a really descriptive overview of how the Egyptian civilisation worked. Although these four paperss were written in different locations, they show many similarities and differences in traits of civilisation, and ideas on the hereafter.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is known as one of the greatest plants of literature from the clip of the Mesopotamian Era. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.8 ) The hero, Gilgamesh, was the swayer of the city-state Uruk from 2700 to 2500 B.C. He was besides really good known for his edifice of monolithic walls and temples. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.8 ) His heroic poem follows the basic subject of the worlds struggle with immortality. Although Gligamesh is known as being? two-thirds a God and one-third homo? , he must confront decease someday. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.8 ) As the heroic poem begins, it is clear that the people of Uruk are distressed at the fact that Gilgamesh is non yet cognizant of his responsibilities as male monarch. Enkidu is sent down from the celestial spheres in response to the people? s calls for aid. When Enkidu and Gilgamesh battle in a competition of strength and combat accomplishment, Gilgamesh wins, and the two heroes unite and set out on a series of escapades. In the thick of their escapades, Ishtar states that a life is owed because of an abuse said towards him. Enkidu is chosen to decease, and he is traveling to be brought to his destiny. Within his clip of waiting, he tells Gilgamesh of a vision he had of? the land on no return? . Within this narrative, the reader is presented with many different facts of how the Sumerians viewed the hereafter. It will go rather apparent that the Egyptians position of the hereafter was reasonably similar, but in some manner was well different.
The Coffin Texts were the Egyptians equality to the Sumerians heroic poems, because they besides give a really typical account of how their people viewed the hereafter. These Coffin Texts were modeled from the earlier Pyramid Texts, which included many inside informations about the many dangers of Earth. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.18 ) This authorship besides included the many feelings that the Egyptians had on the subject of the panics of decease. The Coffin Text is yet another short piece of work that is written in a bipartite address. In this authorship, the Sun God and the asleep speak upon the subjects of good workss and ageless life
. Similarly, ? Negative Confession? is taken from The Book of the Dead, and contains composing upon the subject of decease. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.19 ) In this narrative, the asleep proclaims his pureness to 42 minor divinities, who are set to judge the deceased? s fitness to go an everlastingly blessed spirit. ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.19 ) These three illustrations of Hagiographas from the Egyptians are really descriptive, and serve as a footing of account of decease.
When comparing the similarities of these four Hagiographas, the first thing that becomes apparent is the fact that forfeits are frequently given to the Gods. In the narrative of Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim reveals the secret of the Gods. He explains how he had attained ageless life by constructing a boat when it was announced to him that there would be a great inundation. When the inundation resides, and the Gods appear, Utnapishtim pours out vino and other drinks as an offering to the Gods. This is really similar to the Pyramid Text, whereas the composing provinces to the reader to? Take your caput, Collect your limbs, Shake the Earth from you flesh! Take you bread that putrefactions non, Your beer that sours non, Stand at the Gatess that bar the common people! ? ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.20 ) Both the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians believed that it was good to offer forfeits to the Gods in order to derive ageless life.
Within the Coffin Text, Re, the Sun God, tells the reader of his four good workss to humanity. He created the air currents, flood, and the equity of adult male. In add-on to these, he made certain that people would ever retrieve? The Land of the Resurrected Dead? . ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.20 ) It is rather apparent that the people believed that decease was fate knowing that many of the Egyptians spent much of their clip seeking for ageless life. They realized that destiny would do them confront decease, and they wanted to be to the full prepared when the clip came.
Finally, within? The Negative Confession? , it becomes apparent to the reader what traits are of import to hold upon nearing decease. The Egyptians believed that they had to be free of wickedness in order to come in the hereafter, and to populate everlastingly. Within the text, it states that? ? I have non caused hurting, I have non caused cryings, I have non killed, I have non made anyone suffer? ? ( Andrea, A. ; Overfield, J.H. , 1998, p.21 ) These are merely a few illustrations of some of the beliefs that the Egyptians had. This differs somewhat from the illustrations given within The Epic of Gilgamesh. When Gilgamesh approaches Utnapishtim, he asks how he can be a God and attain immortality. He is presented a opportunity of immortality by finishing two undertakings while on Earth, and fails. The Sumerians believed they could get the better of decease if they proved themselves while populating, instead than being faithful throughout their life. This is a really descriptive illustration of the differences between the Sumerian and Egyptians beliefs of the hereafter.
Even though the ancient civilisation of Egypt and Sumer occurred about at the same clip, their positions on how a individual should populate their life and how they got to the hereafter differed greatly. This had a batch to make with the geographic country where the civilizations were based in. Egyptians, being comparatively protected from onslaughts, had lives that looked toward the hereafter and planned extensively for decease and entombment, while Sumerians were invariably under onslaught and had to unrecorded life as if this was their last twenty-four hours on Earth. ( Bulliet, R. ; Crossley, P. ; Headrick, D. ; Hirsch, S. ; Johnson, L. ; Northrup, D. , 1997, p.32, 45 ) Their entombments were comparatively unsophisticated and the transition onto the hereafter depended on the workss completed during life.